Hassan Whiteside has caused plenty of buzz this season thanks to his meteoric rise from D-League player to one of the most dominant centers in the NBA.
The Miami Heat big man has continued his fine regular season form - where he led the league in blocks at nearly four a game - into the playoffs and he registered 17 points and 13 rebounds in Miami's 103-115 game two victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
Two of those points came in emphatic fashion in the first quarter as the Whiteside got on the end of a Dwyane Wade lob to hammer down a reverse jam, completing an alley-oop right over the powerless Courtney Lee.
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The 26-year-old has had a standout year down on South Beach and was in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year alongside Draymond Green and the eventual winner, Kawhi Leonard.
Whiteside was a franchise playoff-record 8 for 8 from the field during the game two win over Charlotte and with free agency looming, the sure-to-be in-demand center's stock just keeps on rising.
However, the North Carolina-native continues to carry around the chip on his shoulder that has brought him to the proverbial dance.
When asked about finishing third in the DPOY voting, Whiteside failed to show an ounce of pride when talking to PalmBeachPost.com.
“Nothing to talk about,” he said. “I came out there and I put up stats y’all ain’t seen in a decade. Ain’t nothing to talk about.
“Man, I expected to get overlooked. My whole life I’ve been overlooked. I’m used to it.
When pressed on whether he was happy to have at least been in the running, Whiteside briefly contemplated that notion before reverting back to his resolute exterior.
“I guess I’m thankful,” he said. “I’m happy I’m there, I guess. I don’t know. I’m not really. I never get any credit for anything I do,” he said. “It is what it is, bro. You put up historic numbers in blocks—What would you do?”
Whiteside has a point, in some ways. His blocking numbers were quite sensational and given his penchant for notching double-doubles - of which he had 41 last term, the eighth most in the league - the seven-footer has some grounds to be annoyed with a lack of personal accolades.
However, the Heat currently lead their playoff series 2-0 and with a potentially serious ankle injury to Nicolas Batum, the Hornets chances of getting back into that series are looking slimmer by the day.
There's no reason why Miami can't have a very serious run at the Eastern Conference Finals this year, and if they do, Whiteside will surely take great satisfaction in that.